December 20, 2011
Philip Morris Limited Files High Court Challenge Against the Australian Government Over Plain Packaging
MELBOURNE -- Philip Morris Limited (PML) today announced that it has filed a High Court challenge against the Australian Government over plain packaging for tobacco products. This is the second legal claim filed by a Philip Morris company against the Government on plain packaging.
Commenting on today's announcement, PML spokesperson Chris Argent said: “The Government has passed a law that acquires our valuable brands and intellectual property despite being unable to demonstrate that it will reduce smoking and ignoring the widespread concerns raised in Australia and internationally regarding the serious adverse ramifications associated with plain packaging.”
“We believe plain packaging violates the Australian Constitution because the Government is seeking to acquire our property without paying compensation,” Mr. Argent concludes.
PML is seeking a ruling from the Court that the Government cannot prevent PML from continuing to use its valuable intellectual property and branding on its cigarettes and packaging.
This lawsuit follows the arbitration claim filed on November 21 by Philip Morris Asia under Australia's Bilateral Investment Treaty with Hong Kong in which the company is seeking substantial monetary damages.
About Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI)
Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) is the leading international tobacco company, with seven of the world's top 15 international brands, including Marlboro , the number one cigarette brand worldwide. PMI's products are sold in approximately 180 countries. In 2010, the company held an estimated 16.0% share of the total international cigarette market outside of the U.S., or 27.6% excluding the People's Republic of China and the U.S. For more information, see www.pmi.com.
About Philip Morris Limited (PML)
Philip Morris Limited (PML) began operations in Australia in 1954 and has more than 800 employees. Based in Melbourne, the company manufactures and sells a number of well known brands, including Marlboro , Alpine , Longbeach , Peter Jackson , c hoice and GT . In 2010, PML held an estimated 37.5% share of the Australian cigarette market.
For inquiries in Australia
Philip Morris Limited
Telephone number: +61 3 8531 1054
For international inquiries
Philip Morris International
Lausanne, Switzerland (Central European Time (GMT +1))
Telephone number: +41 (0)58 242 45 00